Thursday, November 29, 2007

Within Spitting Distance

Nanowrimo ends with the month of November.  We're almost there.  

Some desperate souls are still under 20,000 and yet still trying to reach the finish line.  I've been there, tried to do that, failed but felt valiant in the attempt.  I cheer them on.

Some souls have their 50,000 and more, but are trying to reach 'The End' in their manuscript.  Some are closer than others to achieving their goal.  To me, this is the ideal for Nanowrimo, and I cheer them on.

Some, like me, are close to 50,000 but not quite there yet.  I have 48,481 words.  I won't reach 'The End' but I'll have crossed the finish line, and that's nothing to smirk at, which you'll know if you ever try Nanowrimo for yourself. 

There are quite a few writers who can write over 100,000 words during that time, and I used to count myself among them.  Something weird happened along the way.  I'm not sure if I do more housework during Nano (as opposed to only doing laundry or dishes if I run out of something) or if it's the part time job or if I write with more consideration on a first draft or what.  In a way, it doesn't matter.  What matters is that people are getting out there and writing lots, learning lots, getting past lots of road blocks, encountering problems they didn't know they had and they learn how to get past them.   Writing is one of those underestimated skills.  A lot of people believe that if they have a good idea, and since they know what they like to read, they can write.  They've been writing since kindergarten, or even before, right?  Well, there's a lot of suppose between that right and write.  Like any skill it takes practice, it takes feedback, it takes thinking and more practice and time and lots and lots of practice and education, learning from peers and pros, and tons of practice.

A lot of pro writers exceed the daily word count to produce a Nano, while a lot of pro writers are well under it.  Pulling a number completely out of my ass, I think many pros aim for about 1000 words in their daily writing, and Nano asks that you do 1667.  It's a fun pace, a somewhat forgiving pace provided you don't have too many zero word days, a brutal pace if you have lots of interruptions or there's a crisis in the midst of November (~which, as we all know, would never happen!~)  Let's cheer the mad, the inspired and the sleepless in these final hours.  I'll cheer me on, and them on, cheer everyone on, and hopefully encourage some of you out there who've been thinking about it to join us next year.

Go Nano!

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